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Denmark spends 'up to 100 million kroner' daily on Covid-19 testing

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark spends 'up to 100 million kroner' daily on Covid-19 testing
Lang kø ved Falck's lyntest, hurtigtest center i Gigantium i Aalborg Øst, tirsdag den 6. april 2021.. (Foto: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix)

Corona virus tests are a cornerstone of Denmark’s strategy for lifting Covid-19 restrictions and containing the virus.

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Testing, described by the government as the “basis” of the country’s reopening plan, has seen major resources diverted to it, with hundreds of thousands of people receiving Covid-19 tests daily.

The Ministry of Justice has now released an estimation of the extent of spending on PCR and rapid Covid-19 tests.

In a written comment, the ministry released the information in response to a request from media Indblik.

Denmark’s large-scale testing programme will cost between 50 and 100 million kroner per day, according to the ministry estimate.

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“If a test costs an average of 100 to 200 kroner, a rough estimate is that the test strategy will cost between 50 and 100 million kroner per day if the overall test capacity is fully utilised,” the ministry wrote.

That estimate can be considered to carry “significant uncertainty,” it noted.

The calculation is based on the current national test capacity of 500,000 tests daily, an impressive figure in a country of 5.8 million people.

The government recently said it wants to further expand the testing capacity to 700,000 daily.

READ ALSO: Denmark to further ramp up Covid-19 testing capacity amid reopening plan

Private subcontractors, who operate the rapid tests, only receive payment for tests that have actually been conducted.

“That means that if 100,000 private antigen [rapid, ed.] tests are done, and there is a capacity of 200,000, the state only pays for 100,000 tests,” the ministry explained.

According to the justice ministry’s comments, the testing strategy is a “vital tool in the reopening of Denmark”.

“The costs of testing must therefore be seen in light of the significant costs associated with an ongoing partial closure of society,” it said.

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